Microsoft Proposal Call for Low-Cost Assistive Technology
Language Requirement Not required
Level Non-Degree /Short program
Eligible Region/CountriesAll Countries
Microsoft calls for a proposal for its Assistive Innovation (AI) for Accessibility program. The AI for Accessibility funds projects focusing on innovations to empower people with disabilities in low and middle-income countries, particularly in Africa. This call aims to improve reasonable access to assistive technology in low and middle-income countries.
The main focus of this award is Low-Cost Assistive Technology. All organizations, including non-profits, academic institutions, start-ups, researchers, inventors, etc., from any country or region, can apply for this grant as a team or individual. All applications are evaluated based on the scientific merit, innovative use of AI technology, and potential for scalability.
Registration Deadline: 4 November 2022 (11:59 PM PST)
Funding Type: Partially-funded
Number of Positions: N/A
Eligible Countries: All
Duration: 12 months
Language Required: English
Microsoft will provide Azure compute credits worth $10,000, $15,000, or $20,000 to awardee. Also, the awardee can benefit from Azure developer support and resources and join the alum network of Microsoft. The grants cover all costs of data collection, labelling, development models, or engineering-related work.
In addition to mentorship and the benefits mentioned above, Microsoft will give the awardee access to support platform craft and share their project more widely.
The Microsoft Low-Cost Assistive Technology Grant applicants can be from any country or region and can apply as a team or individual. Microsoft invites applications from developers, start-ups, NGOs, academics, researchers, and inventors to implement projects for the benefit of people with disabilities.
Applicants should prepare their project proposal in English, and it must describe the accessibility challenge addressed, the technical solution proposed, and its potential impact on people with disabilities.
Note: If you don’t find yourself eligible for this grant, please inform and connect to someone in your community to be your partner on an application.
The grant priority is with the following two themes:
- Locally Relevant Innovation: Applicants can consider these questions for theme one:
- How can we produce cost-effective, user-friendly, and functional devices and software, particularly for people with disabilities?
- How can we decrease the price of existing assistive technology, such as hardware and software?
- How can we expand access to well-established products to make them simpler for everyone?
- How can we empower people with disabilities and local and non-profit organizations to manufacture low-cost assistive technologies using open-source designs, specifications, and training content?
- Distribution and Support: Applicants can consider these questions for theme two:
- How can we develop a technology-powered system to help people with disabilities find the most relevant assistive technology?
- How can people with disabilities contact and connect with innovators, entrepreneurs, or technology providers to provide them with feedback, test, and purchase products?
- How can existing distribution programs be improved and expanded using technology?
- How can we address the challenges associated with maintenance, upgrades, distribution, and lack of awareness within the community and mainstream vendors?
Application and Selection Procedure
The grant application and selection procedure are explained as follows. Applicants must:
- Read the eligibility criteria and prepare their project proposal for submission
- Submit their proposal via the online application portal
- Wait until they receive a decision by email within 90 days
- Once the judges have selected their projects, they will receive an invitation to explain their idea to the selection committee
- The selection committee will score the projects based on the evaluation criteria: Innovation, impact, approach, diversity, community, sustainability, budget, and cost
- After the selection of the project, part of the grant award will be allocated on projects Objectives and Key Results (OKR) and scope that are reported and tracked throughout the 12-month grant period
- The project works starts with an official meeting with AI for the Accessibility team.
How to Apply
To apply for this grant, applicants should submit their project proposal through the online application form by clicking Apply Now button below.
Find More Opportunities
For more information and details, visit the Microsoft website or read the FAQs at the bottom of the AI for Accessibility grant page. If you have any questions about the award program or application process, please contact the team at [email protected].